Holiday Cabaret wraps up December 4 in Stockbridge

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

For folks looking for a little holiday entertainment, Academy Theatre is offering a delicious way to satisfy that craving with their latest stage production.

The group will present “Naughty & Nice: A Sassy Holiday Cabaret,” December 4 at 3 p.m., at Affairs by Pinehurst, 108 S. Lee St., in Stockbridge.

Front (l. to r.) Annie Cook and MK Penley. Back (l. to r.) Lynna Schmidt, Julia Archer and Fracena Byrd. Special photo

The play, which opened to a sold-out crowd over the weekend, stars Fracena Byrd, Annie Cook and Lynna Schmidt, who is also the president of the Henry Arts Alliance. Schmidt began working on the production last summer when she was determining the Arts Alliance’s schedule for the holiday season. She is confident that audiences will recognize the music in it.

“‘Naughty & Nice: A Sassy Holiday Cabaret’ is a combination of songs we all know and love,” said Schmidt. “There are fun-filled, sassy songs, sentimental songs and lots of Christmas cheer.”

Schmidt said she recently approached leaders at Academy Theatre about hosting a dinner theater in Henry County, and that its leaders immediately jumped on board with the concept.

“Academy Theatre has enjoyed having a presence in Henry County and working with the Arts Alliance,” said Schmidt. “This production just seemed like the next perfect project.”

The cast began rehearsing songs for the family-friendly show in October. Schmidt said her favorite aspect of the production is “great joy that we bring to the stage.”

“You know there’s something festive about singing Christmas music in the fall,” she said. “I wish I could bottle that spirit and share it. After all, who doesn't need a little Christmas? Globally, things are so crazy, sad and confused. Having an evening out with great food and great entertainment will give everyone a chance to forget the craziness for a few hours and just enjoy themselves.”

Schmidt praised the talents of Byrd -- whose past theater credits at Academy Theater include “Plaza Suite” and “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” -- and Cook, who previously performed with Schmidt in “Menopause, The Musical.” Together, the trio selected songs for “Naughty & Nice,” in an effort to create the perfect balance of music, with help from singers MK Penley and Julia Archer.

“I have really enjoyed working on this project with these ladies,” said Schmidt. “The energy is so positive, the creativity is amazing and there is such a love for the music and each other. If you are going to do this kind of show, it’s really an extra bonus that these ladies give each other so much love and support. Not a diva in the bunch!”

She added that the family-friendly show will appeal to men and women of all ages, for “a delightful night at the theater.”

Reservations for the dinner theater are required by Nov 28. Admission is $60 for a single plate, or $550 for a table of ten. For tickets or more information, call the Academy Theatre 404-474-8332 or Affairs By Pinehurst at 770-474-7997, or visit www.